Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. Thanks to three published books, and a substantive YouTube presence, he’s also become a media personality and a lightning rod for intellectual debate on a wide range of subjects – climate, gender identity, political correctness, psychology, religion, and much more. Although he describes himself as a “classic British liberal” and a “traditionalist,” he remains for many an enigma, both charismatic and provocative.
One conservative political commentator has described Peterson as “the most influential public intellectual in the Western world.” Meanwhile, a left-wing commentator says that he’s been seen “as everything from a fascist apologist to an Enlightenment liberal, because his vacuous words are a kind of Rorschach test onto which countless interpretations can be projected.” A writer for The New Yorker tried to sum it up by saying that Peterson “is now one of the most polarizing public intellectuals in the English-speaking world.”
Astrodienst tells us that he was born 12 June 1962 at 2:49 AM in Edmonton, Alberta, which gives him an ascendant in the first degree of Taurus.
Here, briefly, are the significant yogas that can be seen in that chart:
- Dharma-Karma Adhipati (DKA): 4th lord Sun associated with 5th lord Mercury in the ascendant
- DKA: 1st lord Venus in mutual aspect with 9th lord Saturn in houses 3/9
- DKA: 1st lord Venus in mutual aspect with 10th lord Saturn in houses 3/9
- Amala: Jupiter as unafflicted benefic in the 10th house
- Budhaditya: 5th lord Mercury with the Sun in the ascendant
- Shakata: Moon eight houses removed from Jupiter
This chart has evident merits with respect to academia, given two DKA yogas involving the 4th, 5th and 9th lords, and equal credit for writing/publishing, since all three DKA yogas engage either the 3rd, the 5th or the 9th houses. The Budhaditya and Amala yogas, involving the intellectual planets Mercury and Jupiter, appear to solidify the profile of an academic. Even the Shakata yoga alludes to the irregular and bumpy ride he has followed in his multivariate career.
But what a difference a degree can make! Seeing the ascendant so close to the Aries/Taurus cusp, I tweaked his chart a mere minute earlier to 2:48 AM, which produced the following horoscope.
Here, briefly, are the principal yogas that can be seen in that chart:
- Ruchaka, a Pancha-Maha-Purusha (PMP) yoga: Mars swa-rashi in the ascendant
- Sasha, another PMP yoga: Saturn swa-rashi in the 10th house
- Budhaditya: 5th lord Sun with Mercury in the 2nd house
- Shakata: Moon eight houses removed from Jupiter
Now, one could argue the merits of six yogas in the Taurus chart versus four in the Aries chart but, in this case, I believe quality trumps quantity. This is all the more compelling when we remind ourselves that Peterson is a world-class iconoclast and shit-disturber on multiple topics. Now, reflect upon the four malefics that occupy the kendras in the Aries chart, wherein two of them form PMP yogas.
Mars is a warrior, and in the ascendant can make for great charisma, coupled with a brash personality that revels in any sort of contest. Saturn in the 10th is something of a socio-political conservative, an advocate of rules and order, yet given its alignment with the Rahu/Ketu axis, this can also manifest as innovative social engineering.
Having planted that stake in the sand, let me now mark out the territory with what I think is real-life evidence in support of the Aries chart.
Peterson initially studied political science. See Saturn/Ketu in the 10th, and 9th lord Jupiter in the 11th. He then acquired a degree in psychology. Both Mars and Saturn aspect the 7th lord Venus in the 4th house, an occupational arena which is typically associated with the fields of education or psychology, both of which he embraced. He later went on to acquire a PhD in clinical psychology.
Initially, he specialized in familial alcoholism. Note that his 2nd lord Venus, signifying both family matters and substance abuse, acquires digbala in the 4th, and yet is massively afflicted by Mars, Saturn and the Rahu/Ketu axis, the latter of which is especially symbolic of substance abuse. Later in his career, he did extensive research on alcohol-fueled violence (Mars) in the family environment.
The timeline of key events and periods in his life also seems to work well with the Aries ascendant and the resultant orientation of the navamsa and other divisional charts.
In between his undergrad and graduate studies, he took a sabbatical in 1983 to travel in Europe. This was during the dasha/bhukti period of Rahu-Venus. Note that Venus is 7th lord, one of the houses that reflect travel. Venus lies on the RKA and is in mutual aspect with Saturn, both significators of foreign peoples and places.
He got married in 1989 during Jupiter-Jupiter. Jupiter gives results for its nakshatra dispositor Rahu, which is associated with 7th lord Venus. In addition, Jupiter aspects his 7th house. In the navamsa, Jupiter is swa-rashi in a kendra, indicating positive experience in the realm of personal relationships.
He received his PhD in clinical psychology from McGill University in 1991, during Jupiter-Saturn. Jupiter rules the 9th house, while Saturn aspects the 4th, both houses of education.
He was on the faculty at Harvard 1993-98, during which time he taught and studied aggression arising from drug and alcohol abuse. This was in Jupiter dasha, running through bhuktis Mercury, Ketu and Venus, the latter two of which are aspected by Mars, significator of violence, and lord of the 8th house of research.
He published his first book in 1999 during Jupiter-Venus. Jupiter rules the 9th of publishing, Venus the 2nd of authorship.
In 2013 he started posting lectures on YouTube. This was during Saturn-Venus, both of which occupy the kendras in his horoscope, both of which have an influence on the 7th house of the public, Venus by rulership, Saturn by aspect on both the 7th house and its lord.
In 2016 he suffered a health crisis due to a severe auto-immune reaction to food, and was prescribed clonazepam. This occurred during Saturn-Moon, and appears to have been contemporaneous with severe depression. After his auto-immune crisis, he went on a very strict dietary regimen, eating only beef and a few vegetables, eventually eliminating vegetables entirely!
At this juncture it may be appropriate to consider the astrological protocol for assessing the manas, that instinctual part of the mind that governs sense perceptions and regulates glandular function. When the manas is disturbed, it can be a precursor for all sorts of difficult-to-diagnose illnesses, as well as behavioral problems. Here are the signs of a disturbed manas in Peterson’s horoscope, which revolve around influences on the 4th house, its lord and occupants, especially afflictions from Saturn and Rahu:
- The Moon, lord of the 4th, occupies the 6th, a trikasthana
- The 4th house is occupied by the vata-deranging Rahu
- The 4th house is aspected by a very powerful (swa and retrograde) Saturn
Further note that the Moon is the nakshatra dispositor for four grahas: the Moon itself, plus Mercury, Saturn and Ketu. This means that, for four out of nine bhuktis in any given dasha, the Moon will be activated. And since it is the 4th lord in the 6th house, this may provoke both health and mental problems.
In 2018 he published his second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which received wide acclaim and enjoyed brisk sales, thus securing his reputation as a top-tier intellectual pundit. This was during Saturn-Mars, the conjoined period of the very two grahas that form stellar PMP yogas promoting greatness.
In 2019, during Saturn-Rahu, Peterson experienced two contemporaneous crises. His wife was diagnosed with cancer, which further provoked his ongoing struggle with depression. Meanwhile he was experiencing severe physical duress as a consequence of his attempted withdrawal from benzodiazepine. In an attempt to secure non-traditional treatment for drug withdrawal, he went to Russia where he was put into a medically-induced coma for eight days and then spent four weeks in convalescence, followed by a longer stay in Serbia where he contracted Covid-19.
As noted earlier, his 7th lord Venus (thus, a double significator of spouse) is massively afflicted, by Mars as well as the dasha/bhukti lords Saturn and Rahu. Furthermore, Venus as 7th lord also signifies travels, while its influence under Saturn and the RKA suggest foreign exposure, as well as the notion of both pharmaceutical interventions and viral infections.
Bottom line, the significant alignment of life circumstances and events in Peterson’s life seem to endorse the horoscope with an Aries ascendant, achieved by a birth-time adjustment of just one minute earlier than hospital records indicated.
Alan Annand is a longstanding student of Hart deFouw. He’s a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. Currently he provides private tutoring to intermediate- and advanced-level students who have already mastered the basics of jyotisha.
He’s also the author of several books. Kala Sarpa is a first-of-its-kind reference text on a unique pattern in jyotisha that is not discussed in shastra yet is part of India’s rich oral tradition. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1-3 offer a wealth of time-tested techniques via biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotisha.
Aside from his Montreal-based crime novels, his New Age Noir crime series (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”
Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com